Questions and answers on COVID-19: Current situation

1. What is the current COVID-19 situation? (as of June 2023)

Since it first appeared in 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread globally, infecting millions of individuals worldwide. On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the outbreak of COVID-19 constituted a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). On 11 March 2020, the Director-General of WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Since then, the global rollout of vaccines from 2021 has dramatically reduced the burden of COVID-19 even as new, more transmissible variants have emerged.

On 4 May 2023, the WHO Director-General determined that COVID-19 is no longer a PHEIC. He highlighted that whilst there are higher levels of population immunity and fewer hospitalisations and deaths, there are still uncertainties related to how the SARS-CoV-2 might evolve.

As of June 2023, SARS-CoV-2 continues to circulate in the EU/EEA with varying intensity. In the past 12 months, there have been waves of infection around every two to three months, with an overall downward trend in the height of the associated peaks in reported cases, hospitalisations, ICU admissions, and deaths.

ECDC continues to monitor for the emergence of new variants of concern, assess immunity in the population as well as trends in cases, hospitalisations and deaths, following the end of the PHEIC.

For the latest update on the EU/EEA, see:

2. What is ECDC doing to control the pandemic?

ECDC is in regular contact with the European Commission, the World Health Organization (WHO), national public health institutes in EU/EEA countries and other institutions to continuously assess the epidemiological situation in the EU/EEA, as well as to exchange experiences and discuss best practices.

ECDC continuously assesses the risk for EU citizens and publishes weekly updates to inform the European Commission and the public health authorities in EU/EEA Member States. ECDC and WHO develop technical guidance to support countries in their response and are carrying out joint surveillance of COVID-19 cases. The European Commission ensures the coordination of risk management activities at the EU level.

ECDC has supported EU/EEA Member States and the European Commission throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing scientific advice to help Member States in their decision-making. To tackle the emergence of virus variants, ECDC provides virus genome sequencing services to Member States upon request and is investing in sequencing capacity developments throughout the EU/EEA.

ECDC provides standard protocols for surveillance and testing approaches to Member States. Through its epidemic intelligence work, the Centre collects comprehensive daily epidemiological data on COVID-19 worldwide.

As the pandemic evolves, ECDC continues to summarise the best available evidence and regularly updates its risk assessments and technical guidance documents on the basis of emerging evidence. It thereby makes new scientific information accessible to the European Commission, EU/EEA Member States and the public. ECDC’s support to Member States also includes guidance provided remotely via video- or teleconferences, webinars, trainings and exchanges on technical documents.

3. Where can I learn more about the epidemiological situation in my country and the national guidelines?

All EU/EEA countries have dedicated websites with information for the public on COVID-19 and the national epidemiological situation. Consult the website of a country’s national authorities to receive advice tailored to that specific national context.

Page last updated 12 Jun 2023